Important Life Skills

I have not posted in well over two months.  This officially makes me a shitty blogger.  But I have been making things that I intend to put up for sale on etsy soon, so I’ve decided to try to work on keeping this up too (because blogs + etsy = more sales.)  But, as all I’ve been doing is making things that I want to post about after I’ve gotten pictures taken and my etsy shop set up, I’ve got nothing.  So here’s some links to some super important craft-related things I either already have or really want to try out:

  • DIY Deodorant.  I’m actually really excited to try this one out.  I think I may add lemon or lime juice to the recipe when I whip up a batch.  One of the girls at work told me about the awesomeness of lemons-as-deodorant, and the internet seems to back her up.
  • Old tee-shirt halters!  No-sew patterns are my favorite (I’ve yet to buy a sewing machine) and I’ve made variations of this one on two of my old shirts and love them!  I’ll probably make more as the weather keeps heating up.
  • Now that I know tea cup bird feeders exist, I want to make hundreds of them.  They are so cute!  And the tutorial is great.
  • Shirt skirts are pretty much the first thing on my list to make once I buy a sewing machine.  I love skirts (so comfortable!) and these are adorable.
  • Bath bombs. Because they are fun and fizzy.
  • And seriously, I saved the best for last.  Check out the amazing fabrics at this website, or submit your own to be made.  How awesome?

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Story-time: Why I Became an Au Pair

I got a job!  I believe I mentioned this in my last blog post (titled “Ariel Got a Job!”)  As I generally assume my mother is the only person who checks my blog regularly (and even she isn’t a subscriber) I figured I would reiterate that fact.  One of the first questions I got at my new job is: “where did you work last?”  It’s a pretty safe ice breaker, and for me seems to open up a conversation because the next question I get is invariably: “A what?  Au pair?  What’s that?”  Well, as the always-factual and ever-omniscient Wikipedia states, an au pair is:

“[A] foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use.

The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning “on a par” or “equal to”, indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant. In the best circumstances, both parties benefit from learning about the other’s culture and will remain on good terms long after the au pair has left the family.”

Or, as I’m more likely to say, “a nanny.”

I was an au pair in Denmark for six months.  My contract was for a year, but with the economic crisis etc my HF had to let me go.  I had a ton of reasons for deciding to become an au pair.  I wanted to travel.  I was a full-time student paying her way though college (read: poor) who couldn’t afford to take a year off without a job to support her while abroad.  I’ve babysat before and am good with kids.  An excerpt from the private blog I kept for this experience reads:

“Becoming an Au Pair, to me, is a way for me to begin traveling and learning how to be on my own in a place unfamiliar to me without having to leave the comfort of a family or draining my college savings. I desperately need a break from school (three years of doing poorly in college after all those awkward years in K-12? I’m exhausted) and I spend so much of my time at work or thinking about work and school that a year/year and a half of taking care of children will be such a vacation.”

It goes on to say that I understand that childcare is, in fact, work, but the point remains the same.  I was a full-time student with two part-time jobs when I applied to an au pair agency.  I had no idea what to major in, but was at a point in my education where that decision should have been made.  I was stressed out, skipping classes, failing (true story: I failed the same math class three semesters in a row.)  I needed to take a break from school, slow down, experience life.  Au pairs  work 30-45 hour work weeks (depending on the country) and receive room and board along with a stipend of between $300-600/month (also dependent on the country.)  What could be more perfect for a college student wanting to go places and experience a different culture and language?  So I applied (a process deserving a post of it’s own,) waited to hear back from a family, agreed to match, and was off!  (A lot of time actually lapsed between each of these things, but that’s not relevant here.)  And I’m so glad I went.   But all that’s stories for later.  Right now I have to get ready to meet a friend for lunch.

=]

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Ariel got a job!

Woo I have a job!  I got it on Monday and have been in training all week.  And I know that these blog posts have nothing to do with anything and are probably super boring, but hopefully sometime soon I’ll get around to posting something useful.  In the meantime, here’s the recipe to some pretty mean fish cakes I make, and made again the other day.  Most people hesitate when they hear/read the term fish cakes but don’t let that stop you- I had to talk my boyfriend and his brother into trying them, and after they totally agreed that they were way yummy.  So, yes.  Fish cakes.  Thats all I have to post today.

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Inspiration Filler Post

I crochet.  It’s what I do.  Currently I am working on a Panther Neck Herb-Pillow Case (I’ve previously made a squid and a Cthulhu neck herb-pillow case which are currently hanging  out on my bookshelf because I have yet to put them up on etsy.  I posted pics below) for my friend Nicole.  Law school (where she’s at) can be stressful, and those microwaveable scented neck pillows can really relax stiff muscles from a long day of studying.  Plus she likes panthers.  But I’m a little stuck right now on the claws, and so in my procrastination I have compiled a link-list of interesting projects other people have crocheted.

Crocheted food art is super cool.

I love all of these, especially the figures.

Crocheted chain saw!

Smiling hamburger.

Fantastically awesome blanket!

I want one!  This could be my secret grown-up hiding place tent!

and… a Super Mario plant- how cute!

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First Post

It has taken me a while to get to this blog, which is kinda ridiculous.  I’m not actually doing much with my days lately; unemployed and broke lend themselves to boredom and yet I can’t seem to focus much on writing at this time.  I spend much of my free time reading books and news as well as reading analysis’ on both (though honestly mostly news; I usually  only get into book analysis’ when reading Shakespeare’s plays,) so it’s hard to find the desire to write about those on top of it all.   I can’t afford to bake as much as I’d like, can’t afford to travel, can’t afford more skeins of yarn than what I’ve got.  Hopefully I’ll get a job soon.

Until then I’ve decided to write-up memoir/essays about the last six months while I was in Denmark working as an au pair.  I kept a personal (private) blog while there, but most of what I wrote in it was of the “and then I took the kids to the park, here are some pics” variety, and not actually all that interesting to read.  I can’t guarantee that I will go in chronological order when typing these up, so I promise at the very least to give approximate dates.

So.  I’m going to go apply for a couple jobs now (Publix here I come) and then later tonight hopefully I’ll get around to typing up what made me want to au pair in the first place.

=]

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